Hillary Clinton Admits Planned Parenthood Sting Videos Are 'Disturbing,' but Defends Abortion Group's Past 'Really Good Work'

( [email protected] ) Jul 30, 2015 11:26 AM EDT
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has admitted that the undercover videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of organs from aborted fetuses are "disturbing."
Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on July 28, 2015. Melina Mara—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has admitted that the undercover videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of organs from aborted fetuses are "disturbing" but nevertheless defended the leading abortion group, saying it has historically done "really good work" for women.

"I have seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing," said Clinton in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader Tuesday.

In the first video released by the conservative group Center for Medical Progress earlier in July, Planned Parenthood senior medical director Dr. Deborah Nucatola is shown discussing how she "crushes" certain parts of the baby in order to get desired organs intact to be available for sale to biomedical companies.

A second video, released a week later, exposes another Planned Parenthood senior medical adviser haggling over the price of selling baby body parts to undercover CMP activists posing as biomedical entrepreneurs. She also discusses using "less crunchy" techniques to get "more intact" specimens.

A third video, released earlier this week, shows a licensed phlebotomist describing her duties that included harvesting and processing the remains of aborted babies at Planned Parenthood and describing how the leading abortion company profited from the practice.

While numerous Republican presidential candidates and Christian leaders have called for the public defunding of the leading abortion company, Planned Parenthood has claimed it is a victim of "deceptive editing" that "falsely portrays Planned Parenthood's participation in tissue donation."

According to Reuters, the group has also claimed that it followed applicable laws and ethical standards regarding human fetal tissue for research purposes. It stated that occasionally reimbursing costs, such as transportation to research centers, were "standard medical practice."

In continuing her statements, Clinton applauded Planned Parenthood's history of doing "really good work" for women but admitted the recent videos called the abortion process into question nationwide.

"Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make. One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about, you know, the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country. And if there's going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one part of it," said Clinton.

"There is no funding that, you know, would be any more at risk than it already has been for years because this has been an ongoing dispute, and I'm well aware that passions are very high. I have said for more than 22 years that abortion should be legal, safe and rare. And as first lady, I led an effort to try to lower the number of teenage pregnancies and we succeeded, and as President I will continue to work toward that so that women are fully empowered, they can afford to make responsible decisions, and I hope that we will be successful with that," she added.

Politico notes that for the past two years, Planned Parenthood has been a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and in 2012 committed to train "youth peer providers" in Latin America, Africa and the U.S. on ways to promote birth control.

Clinton has also vowed to defend Planned Parenthood throughout her campaign, as several leaders and activists within the pro-abortion agency are among her personal friends, including President Cecile Richards.

During an appearance in Iowa and New Hampshire held over the weekend, Clinton reiterated her support for the group, stating, "I will defend a woman's right to choose, and I will defend Planned Parenthood."

Speaking to the news source on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz said Clinton should be "made to answer" if she is proud to have received such "enthusiastic support from Planned Parenthood while they are under investigation for multiple felonies."

"I think Hillary Clinton should be made to answer if she supports an organization that buys and sells the body parts of unborn children in direct violation of federal law," he continued. "[She] ought to be asked: Do you share those values? Does that reflect the core values of your campaign?"